Don’t Let A Positive Drug Test Convince You To Take A Plea—Those Tests May Be More Unreliable Than You Think!

If you're under arrest for a drug charge, hearing from the police or the prosecution that the drug tests on any evidence they've seized (including your bloodwork) have come back positive might just be enough to make you throw in the proverbial towel and agree to a plea bargain. Before you do that, however, have a long talk with your attorney about just how unreliable those drug tests can actually be—and learn more about how they can be overcome in court.

Roadside test kits are deeply flawed.

You may be considering a plea deal before the real lab work is even done, based on the results of a $2 roadside kit that's so unreliable that it can't even be used in court as evidence. While roadside tests are used to establish "probable cause" and make an arrest on drug charges, prosecutors have to wait on actual lab testing in order for the results to mean anything. 

Lab reports may not be any more reliable.

While drug evidence that's verified by a lab is admissible in court, there have been numerous instances where results were obtained through less-than-scientific means. For example, a Massachusetts state crime lab analyst was recently convicted of intentionally forging the results of drug tests in order to please the prosecution. As many as 40,323 people may have been affected by her actions. 

That case is, unfortunately, not unique. In South Carolina, a lab falsified the results of as many as 40 drug tests in less than a year. A lab tech in a New Jersey state police lab was caught "dry labbing," a polite euphemism for simply putting down the expected positive results without actually doing the analysis. His actions may have affected as many as 7,827 cases.

In addition to blatant issues with fabricated results, there are constant problems with labs that don't take proper precautions to avoid cross-contaminating results, which can lead to false-positives. Chains of evidence, which are supposed to track the exact movement of evidence as it is collected and processed in order to help prevent errors, can also be called into question. 

Your own body may be working against you.

You can also trigger a false positive in a drug test simply by eating the wrong food or taking the wrong over-the-counter medication. For example, pseudoephedrine is a common ingredient in OTC cold medications—and it is an ingredient in meth. If you've been feeling run-down lately, your doctor might have had you add vitamin B supplements to your diet—which can be made from hempseed oil. A drug test that picks up on the traces of tetrahydrocannabiionol (THC) in your system would test positive for marijuana. A drug test can't distinguish why the substance was in your system, just that it was there. Your attorney can help you establish an explanation for the why the chemical components of certain drugs may legally be in your body.

Don't let flawed, unreliable, or fabricated drug test evidence drive you into a plea bargain that you'll later regret. Contact a defense attorney, such as  Russ Jones Attorney At Law, who handles drug charges today to discuss your case.